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Dec 1, 2021 - 8:45:11 AM
276 posts since 12/9/2009

So, I have a very nice RB-4 that has had a common repair where the peghead above the nut was cracked. It's solid, not too ugly and it plays and sounds like a Gibson RB-4. At some point I may consider having a replacement neck made to replace the original repaired neck.

Will it still be a Gibson RB-4?

Dec 1, 2021 - 8:51:16 AM
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14133 posts since 6/29/2005

Plenty of old Gibson tenors and plectrums have had 5-string necks made—for that matter almost all Stradivarius era violins have new necks because of changes in concert pitch.

I think what you would have is a Gibson RB4 with a conversion neck, and some neck makers are better than others.

 

Where I would draw the line is cutting down PW rims and putting boutique flathead tone rings on them— I would argue that they are no longer an actual Gibson.

Dec 1, 2021 - 8:51:37 AM
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1559 posts since 4/13/2009
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Earl replaced the neck of his banjo several times.

Dec 1, 2021 - 8:55:09 AM

14429 posts since 10/30/2008

Yes, it will still be a Gibson, BUT a Gibson with a replaced neck. Unless you find a factory Gibson neck for a replacement.

Dec 1, 2021 - 8:59:39 AM
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YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

612 posts since 5/11/2021

I've seen people claim that a banjo made from a Huber Rim/Ring, Gill resonator, and Robin Smith neck was a "Gibson" because it had a Gibson tailpiece and pot hardware.

Dec 1, 2021 - 9:48:12 AM
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1661 posts since 5/19/2018

Oh boy...here we go again...

Depending upon who you ask, the definitive answer is: Yes, and No.

There will be umpteen replies to this thread going into detail as to why. I will sit out from here.

Dec 1, 2021 - 10:29:30 AM

276 posts since 12/9/2009

I'm not trying to start that conversation again but appreciate anyone's input. The repaired work neck works just fine, I was just wondering whether or not to be concerned about replacing the neck and what I would have if I did.

Dec 1, 2021 - 10:35:17 AM
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RioStat

USA

5674 posts since 10/12/2009
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If you put new tires on your Chevy, does that make it a Ford ?  devil

Dec 1, 2021 - 10:47:39 AM

12579 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Society Hill

I'm not trying to start that conversation again but appreciate anyone's input. The repaired work neck works just fine, I was just wondering whether or not to be concerned about replacing the neck and what I would have if I did.


I think the previous answer that it's a Gibson with a replaced neck is the most reasonable. Repairs happen. Including major repairs.

Since you seem to be saying your banjo is a completely Gibson RB-4, it sounds like you're describing a modern era reissue. If that's the case, if you do end up wanting a new neck you might consider having it made Eric Sullivan. That could be the next closest thing to a genuine Gibson replacement.

Dec 1, 2021 - 10:48:40 AM
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276 posts since 12/9/2009

Great point, I had not thought of that.

Dec 1, 2021 - 11:20:56 AM
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14429 posts since 10/30/2008

If you do get a new neck, SAVE THE OLD ONE! Someday someone might prefer a broken/repaired Gibson neck to the identical replacement. You never know.

Eric Sullivan is also known for broken peghead repairs that are "nearly" invisible.

Like this old Gibson in the Classifieds -- read the text and examine the photos.   https://www.banjohangout.org/classified/90229

Edited by - The Old Timer on 12/01/2021 11:24:29

Dec 1, 2021 - 11:23:34 AM
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11919 posts since 10/27/2006

Dec 1, 2021 - 11:50:36 AM

12579 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by deestexas

Earl replaced the neck of his banjo several times.


And not always by Gibson, right?

Dec 1, 2021 - 12:01:40 PM

KCJones

USA

1547 posts since 8/30/2012

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat

If you put new tires on your Chevy, does that make it a Ford ?  devil


If you put a 350 engine in a Ranger, is it a Ford or a Chevy?

Dec 1, 2021 - 12:13:08 PM
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2115 posts since 2/4/2013

If you're not selling, it was a banjo and is still a banjo. If you're selling you still have the repaired neck if that would make someone overpay.

Dec 1, 2021 - 2:31:31 PM

276 posts since 12/9/2009

Thanks!

Dec 1, 2021 - 2:52:49 PM
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beegee

USA

22563 posts since 7/6/2005

As long as you fully disclose that it has a replacement neck made by____________________0n date__________, I see no problem. Honesty is still the best policy. The more documentation that accompanies the banjo, the better, whether you ever sell it or not.

Dec 1, 2021 - 3:53:48 PM

8015 posts since 1/7/2005

I'd much prefer to own a well repaired pre-war neck as long as it plays well and sounds good. No shame in a few battle scars. I bet Willie Nelson's guitar "Trigger" has some pretty good juju. Most Gibson fivers are converted tenors anyway. An original five would be well worth a first class repair job. And it should command some respect.

DD

Dec 2, 2021 - 5:06:26 AM

14133 posts since 6/29/2005

The original 5-string necks on old Mastertones had a very thin, narrow profile, and many players today would want a wider neck. My 1927 was originally a tenor, and I would never have made a 5-string neck with the same narrow nut width and profile.

Unless you want to be playing a banjo with the original neck for authenticity reasons, or just having it as a collector's item,  It's perfectly legit to make a neck that fits your hand and has a modern truss rod, and save the original one for posterity—I'd save it in the current form and not do any further repair to it.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 12/02/2021 05:08:09

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